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 Post subject: Torture Joe Lieberman
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:39 pm 
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What earthly horrors would you like to visit upon the smug bag of shit from Connecticut?

I'm thinking a lifetime of cleaning bedpans for people with severe digestive trauma and no health insurance.

Or perhaps a lifetime of telling people their uninsured loved ones have died and how that outcome was preferable to threatening insurance company profits.

And let's not let Obama off, either, since he seems more interested in passing something (anything!) with "Health Care Reform" written on it than the contents of the actual legislation. Fuck him, too.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:44 pm 
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Rspaight wrote:
What earthly horrors would you like to visit upon the smug bag of shit from Connecticut?

I'm thinking a lifetime of cleaning bedpans for people with severe digestive trauma and no health insurance.

Or perhaps a lifetime of telling people their uninsured loved ones have died and how that outcome was preferable to threatening insurance company profits.

And let's not let Obama off, either, since he seems more interested in passing something (anything!) with "Health Care Reform" written on it than the contents of the actual legislation. Fuck him, too.



Lieberman is garbage. That goes without saying. We're finding out quickly that our razor-thin 60 seat majority is one in name only. And while there's certainly plenty of conservative Democrats in our ranks, there's no such thing as a liberal Republican. They always manage to stand arm-in-arm no matter convoluted their logic might be (i.e. witness McCain's recent Medicare foot-in-mouth). Pretty hard to deal with that hand even with our own personal Judas. This is obviously a vendetta issue for Lieberman, as evident by his own recent and not-so-recent flip-flops, and one where he holds ALL the cards (never mind his special interest agenda). His Weiner comment today totally defied description. And while it's high-minded to throw around ideas like "strip him of his committee chair" and "punish him," the Dems still need his mangey ass on every other piece of progressive legislation they hope to advance in the next year. That's pretty depressing.

I disagree about the Obama comment, even though I realize that's not very fashionable these days (particularly in squawk holes like Huff-Po). Perhaps that sounds apologist, but I've yet to hear a viable solution to his dilemma. He was doomed to fail from the start on this issue. Anything less than pure single-payer wasn't going to appease the progressive base. The PO was on life-support all along as well. Obviously, as witnessed by the above, the votes were never going to be there. This notion of strong-arming -- ala LBJ -- doesn't wash in 2009 either when you have an opposition that has no intention of budging, and you still have a full legislative agenda ahead. So, what happened next? Every watered down alternative has been shot down in order (see Judas again), even probably much to the surprise of the WH. Other than scrapping the bill entirely, what's the answer then? Can you imagine the field day the right-wing controlled media will have if nothing gets passed after all these months? His Waterloo indeed, and not the kind of political hit he should take this early on. It would probably hang over his head like a boulder going into midterms. Though, obviously, he's still going to take a hit from the idealogues in that regard. But...was staying high and mighty for ultimate failure a better solution? I'm not so sure.

I say, pass this piece of crap, move on (no pun intended), and hope for greener days ahead in terms of seats. I'd like to imagine a political world with no Ben Nelsons and Judas incarnates. I actually also think it's pretty shrewed not to get sucked in by this game that Lieberman is playing. Leave that to third party groups like Move-On. Maybe they can destroy his credibility. Though...sadly...I don't think he even cares. A cushy job in the insurance industry awaits him.



PS - I don't think Reconciliation is the answer either. If so, there will go the last morsels of value in this bill, namely pre-existing conditions - one that's near and dear to my own Progressive heart.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:29 pm 
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David R. Modny wrote:

We're finding out quickly that our razor-thin 60 seat majority is one in name only.


I'll just add...that should read razor-thin, "filibuster-proof," 60 seat majority. In case that was in doubt.

(What happened to the long-term edit function, Luke? That was my best friend here...lol.)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:24 am 
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David R. Modny wrote:
(What happened to the long-term edit function, Luke? That was my best friend here...lol.)


Get it right the first time!

IIRC, I changed it to 20 minutes or something so people couldn't go back days or months and delete posts.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:50 am 
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Fascist.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:57 am 
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IMO, Obama set himself up for failure from the start by refusing to define the parameters of reform, leaving that up to Congress. Congress duly emitted a watered-down package of hopelessly complicated proposals. This was the starting point, which inevitably would be negotiated down. It's like buying a car and making an initial offer of $2000 over list price.

It's not so much that Obama failed to accomplish single-payer, or even a public option. It's that he didn't forcefully advocate for either of those things. I don't see how you can paint that as a politically savvy move when it throws a big bucket of cold water on the base. Obama won the presidency because he energized people. That battery's now close to dead.

Maybe this is too simplistic, but why couldn't he have challenged Congress to enact a bill that met certain minimum requirements for reform, done a full-court PR press direct to the public on the merits of those requirements, and vetoed anything that didn't pass muster? (Or at least negotiated down to from strong reform to mediocre reform, instead of from mediocre down to pitiful?)

In other words, if he was doomed to failure from the start, at least make it a ballsy, honorable failure.

So yes, maybe we need to just pass this crappy bill (shoveling more money at the insurance companies) and move on. But Obama had damn well better move on to something, ANYTHING that will demonstrate a break from the status quo. After his failure to come clean on illegal surveillance and torture, his complete lack of action on gay rights, his baffling "surge" proposal for Afghanistan (really, what would possibly be different there next year as opposed to this year, when we've accomplished bupkis in eight?), and essentially making the fatally corrupt finance industry a Cabinet-level position, we need some hope.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:39 pm 
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IMO, I think the problem is that the energized *base* comment is a slippery slope. Obama was, and is, a centrist from the get-go. Now, one can argue that governing from the middle is a sure fire recipe for disaster in which 1/3 of the country is always unhappy, but I believe that there really isn't a single Obama "base." It's just that the left -- myself included -- viewed him as the our least destructive *viable* ally. I felt the same about Hillary. In my case, I feel "energized" by anything other than a unabashed rightie in office. We wouldn't even be having discussions about health care reform if that were the case. We wouldn't have even sniffed the precipice of stem cell research again. It's a start.

I also personally feel that this idea of him not being forceful enough on the PO has been overstated. He was as forceful as he could be, knowing what what he was up against. I don't know what the likes of Arianna Huffington were hearing, but I heard countless press conferences and interviews where he implicitly stated that he was in favor of the public option, even if it wasn't the sole focal point of reform. Did he back off a bit? Sure. But, that's the tightrope one has to walk. I personally think that what the left is looking for these days is some sort of ideologically pure candidate who will sacrifice a second term in the name of cause. That ain't gonna happen. It's a far cry from being campaigner to actual administrator. I witnessed administrator Dennis Kucinich, the new patron saint of the left, and what he had to deal with in terms of the banks when he was mayor of Cleveland. We all know where that got him during that tenure. This current bill may now suck, but it's not because of Obama's lack of cheerleading. Again, just my opinion.


(I'll just add...that as my own Congressman, Dennis is terrific: with the job he was born to do.)


As far as this notion of Obama completely turning his back on stuff such as gay rights; The guy's been in office 11 months. I personally think the some of the most vocal sectors of the media-left are coming off like petulant school children because he hasn't instantly waived his magic wand on their pet issues. Something like "don't ask, don't tell" requires legislation in Congress, and I think it's safe to say that he and they have quite bit on their plate already as it is. The pledge has been made. It's been re-made. Talk to me in 3 years if it's unanswered. Even then, it's obvious that we now have "issues" in our legislative ranks. Another example of walking that administrative tightrope. As I mentioned earlier, I truly don't think that Obama even realized just how much stonewalling he was going to face from the opposition, as well as in his own Congressional ranks. If I see honest attempt, I'll judge him accordingly. Now, as a heterosexual male, I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the pulse of just how painful this is to the gay and lesbian community. So, I do understand some of the concern there.



Afghanistan is a tricky situation. While I'm against the principal of war in theory, I supported the *necessity* of this particular war even under Bush. Obviously, Obama has too from the start. I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of what's going on there right now or what's best in the long run. I'll just have to watch and see. Ditto for economic theory and practice. Though, listening to some of the so-called "experts" in the political blogosphere (Arianna again), it's obvious that many have an opinion without a real, viable solution. Obama doesn't have that luxury of deference. We'll know soon enough if he was right or wrong. It's still too soon for me to judge..."warning signs" or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:15 pm 
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One more thing I'd like to add is that while, yes, the Democratic Party is Obama's primary voting base, I'm not so sure what that even encompasses anymore (as witnessed by recent events).

I even read a poll where the majority of Americans identify themselves as either Democrat or Independent...but...that same majority *also* identify themselves as *conservative* or independent!


And people wonder why we can't get progressive initiatives passed or good, clean liberal candidates elected...lol?!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:06 pm 
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lukpac wrote:
David R. Modny wrote:
(What happened to the long-term edit function, Luke? That was my best friend here...lol.)


Get it right the first time!

IIRC, I changed it to 20 minutes or something so people couldn't go back days or months and delete posts.


Ah. The Ess Ay Cee Dee rule.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:25 pm 
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I understand and cannot disagree with most of what you're saying, David. For me, it's frustrating and disheartening to see that the Democrats, who were incapable of stopping Bush's odious agenda, are also incapable of enacting any of the progressive agenda Obama ran on. I can stomach one or the other, but both is too much.

So now we're left with a bill that requires people to buy health insurance but offers no alternative to private plans. So Blue Cross and Humana can just jack up their prices and watch the profits roll in, while taxpayers are left footing the bill for those who can't afford it. It's like the worst of both worlds. I don't know if that's Obama's idea of health care reform, but it ain't mine.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:44 pm 
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It is disheartening indeed. I bleed left as much as anyone. Furthermore, I'm not sure which outcome is worse in the court of public opinion. Being high-minded on the road to ultimate failure and going down with the ship, or crossing one's fingers and hoping one can get something across the finish line, only to be with left with precious little.

This is the way I look at, Ryan. All the trumping up of the public option in the world to begin with wasn't going to break those 40 Republican arm-in-arm filibuster votes + Judas Joe. What would we have been left with then?: A headline that reads "Obama's Public Option Initiative Fails In Senate; Filibuster Ends Health Care Reform." Health care reform 1994-style all over again. I also don't believe that any grassroots support via Obama's "taking the reigns" would have prevented the above. The WH may have been able to "buy out" Landrieu's and Lincoln's vote...and maybe Nelson's, but the above seem impermeable, especially with Joe on a mission. We don't have one vote to spare in terms of the filibuster block. And that's our biggest stumbling block right now.

The truth is that -- namely due to our own blue dog opposition and the looming vote reality -- the PO introduced in the Senate was flippin' lousy to begin with. I was actually pleased in some ways with the compromise bill. And yet...now what do we have? The drug re-importation part is gone, neutered from the hands of one of our own. The Medicare buy-in is gone too, as well as any remaining shreds of the PO - courtesy of Judas Joe and EVERY Republican Senate vote. If we couldn't even get this through, no amount of Obama cheerleading was going to get something stronger passed. Not as long as Congress and Committee draft legislation, blue dogs on the take from insurance companies exist, and the filibuster threat looms from the Party Of No Plus Joe! The sad part is, with the unfettered compromise, we were almost to a manageable finish line. Something *at least* to build on.

I'll also add that this notion of "going back to the drawing board" that some of the pundits on the left are putting forth is nonsense, IMHO. There is no drawing board at this juncture. With the Senate breakdown we have right now, the outcome would be the same or worse - with even more time wasted that could be used on other initiatives. Most importantly, the Republicans would love nothing more than to continue to drag this out in front of the American people, with the same results planned. If people really want to enact change, they need to get out and help bounce those Congressional votes that are the path of obstruction. "Punishing" Obama and the Dems by staying home on election day -- as some are suggesting -- just digs us into a deeper hole in terms of true health care reform in this country. Most importantly, let's NEVER forget the Republican part in all of this!

The bottom line is that we got little. We'll have to live with it for now.


(Assuming what's left passes!) :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Joe's gotta get his little dig in. This calculating slimeball knows *exactly* what he's doing with his words.

V for Vendetta indeed...



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/2 ... 99355.html

Ryan Grim
ryan@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting


Lieberman: Obama Never Pressed Me On Public Option


Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) insists that the White House did not pressure him to get in line behind either a public health insurance option or a Medicare buy-in compromise during the health care debate this year.

"Well, no. I think I got pressure from the president to be for health care reform," Lieberman said when asked by HuffPost about any pressure from the administration to support either the public option or the Medicare buy-in. "I'd have to think about this, but I didn't really have direct input from the White House on this."

He added that Nancy-Ann DeParle, a top administration health care aide, downplayed the public option's significance early in the debate.

"Early on, Nancy-Ann DeParle came in, I told her my argument, I said, 'Nancy, I don't remember this ever being in the presidential campaign debates -- or discussions. I don't mean just the debates. And she said, 'You know, it's interesting. We went back and checked and there's one mention in the bottom of a paragraph of an Obama presidential policy statement on health care where it's mentioned as an option.' But most of the negotiation I had on that was with Senator Reid."

When Obama addressed the Democratic caucus towards the end of the debate, as the public option was teetering on the brink, Lieberman said the president told him simply to work it out.

"When he came to the caucus he said, 'Just try to work this out as you get to the end here.' And I said, 'OK,'" explained Lieberman.

On Sunday, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), blamed the administration's decision not to push for the public option for its eventual demise. "Unfortunately, the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle," he said.

One of the first times that the White House was closely involved in public option or Medicare buy-in negotiations was two Sundays ago, when Lieberman told Reid he would filibuster the buy-in compromise, Lieberman explained.
Story continues below

"Most of my dealings were with Senator Reid until the very end, that Sunday, when I went in to his office and Rahm Emanuel was there," said Lieberman. Rahm, said Lieberman, "was relatively quiet."

Reid and Emanuel met privately before Lieberman arrived at Reid's office; HuffPost previously reported that sources familiar with the meeting said that Emanuel pressured Reid to drop the Medicare buy-in. Regardless of whose decision it was, by the time Lieberman got to Reid's office, Reid was ready to drop the Medicare compromise, said Lieberman.

"The truth is that the meeting was really run by Senator Reid. And at that point he was basically trying to put it together and he said, 'I hear you. I understand you don't want the public option, which is out, and now you don't want to expand Medicare. I understand your reasons. I don't agree with them. We've got to get to 60. And so we'll take them out,'" Lieberman recalled.

"Most of our active discussion that day was about this OPM [Office of Personnel Management] national private plan idea, because I wanted to make sure there wasn't any sort of fall-back public option in there, which had been in an earlier iteration, and he promised me there wouldn't be."

Emanuel didn't weigh in much on the Medicare compromise, said Lieberman. "He was relatively quiet. He asked a few questions about the national private plan discussion," he said.

Ultimately, said Lieberman, the president wasn't attached to the public option and repeatedly made clear that it was simply a preference.

"Personally, I feel that the bill does what the president set out as his goals: contain costs, expand coverage to some of the millions of people who don't have it now and regulate insurance companies so they treat consumers and patients more fairly. And I remember the president, in his address to Congress earlier this year, said 'I prefer the public option but what I'm really interested in is my goals. If you can achieve my goals in health care reform without a public option, then that's fine with me.' And I think that's what this bill does," said Lieberman.

UPDATE: Reader Bluesue points out that if Lieberman's correct that DeParle searched campaign documents for reference to a public option, she didn't do a very thorough job. The public option -- referred to in the campaign's platform as a "new public plan" -- is mentioned throughout the campaign's health care literature. (PDF)


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